What can HR professionals do to encourage employees early in their careers and prepare them for success? Developing the next generation of workers remains critical, especially as recent college graduates and young professionals face an uphill battle if they want to change their role or find a new position in today’s economy. With 18+ million Americans out of work and roughly the same number of Europeans furloughed or laid off, younger professionals end up competing against more experienced workers for the same jobs. HR can provide the tools and advice that Gen Z and millennials need to connect with others, build their skills, and solidify their reputation at work. Here are three ways you can start:
Much of what helps anyone find what they love to do or their next position—internally or externally—is relationships and networking. But when you are starting off right out of school, that professional network can be small. HR can help junior employees by providing them with tools that help them create internal networks, find mentors, and build their personal brand.
Start by making it easy to navigate your organization.
How easy is it to find others with similar interests or relevant experience? As employees take on new projects, it is important to find other people who can round out the knowledge needed to do their best work. This is an important way to build skills and relationships that can help develop an employee’s career potential.
HR can help by providing an interactive directory that is social, easy to search, connects to LinkedIn, and encourages feedback on the employee profile. At Oracle, we’ve built Oracle Connections as the first directory to do just that. An employee can even create a video introduction that makes it easier for others to approach him or her with some knowledge of their background.
Another important way to develop career-defining relationships is by building a personal brand. Mentors can be especially helpful to new employees trying to find their way. With a combination of hard work and advice on the right books to read, projects to take on, or courses to take, employees can create a strong reputation that opens the door to new opportunities.
The second way HR can help young professionals is by giving them opportunities to experiment and learn. Talent marketplaces dedicated to internal candidates can offer short-term gigs and opportunities that are a great way for employees who are still exploring their career paths to try new roles or projects. Oracle Opportunity Marketplace can even connect employees seeking gig or side projects with managers and others in the organization who have small projects that need to get done.
Finally, managers with junior employees on their teams may be newer to leadership themselves. This makes coaching essential in order to provide the best guidance and feedback to their direct reports. HR can help by putting together targeted learning recommendations for newer managers that share examples of what has worked for others within the organization. In addition, including feedback and goal management into your talent management strategy is a proven way to provide the framework managers can use to assess and coach employees.
By selecting a complete talent management solution, HR can use one vendor that connects learning, performance management, and the employee profile to help improve career development and the employee experience.
The world is in a period of immense upheaval. It is up to HR to extend a helping hand to all employees to help them continue to learn and grow in their careers, despite the disruption. A great employee experience for young professionals builds a culture where they will want to stay for the long term.
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